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Monday, July 31, 2006

With a Midwife like this, who needs abortion?

A Blog from Secretary of State, Dr Condoleezza Rice

Dear Overseas

We have to bomb Lebanon to save Lebanon. Now I realize that this might sound harsh, but the pain and the suffering we are experiencing now is the birth pangs of a new Country. I accept that there won’t be that many Lebanese left alive to enjoy this new country, but the puppet regime we’ll manage to install in Lebanon as part of our demands to call the Israelis off, will promise us a staging ground to help start ‘birthing’ a new country in Syria and of course Iran. Let’s stop these calls for a ceasefire now, as all that will do is stop woman and children from being blown into tiny bits – any ceasefire must be a ‘sustainable ceasefire’ – this is just some word we have made up from existing words that you’ll kinda be familiar with, but in no way really explains what we are actually doing. For example, ‘unlawful combatant’, ‘Patriot act’, ‘stress position’, ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’, ‘extraordinary rendition’ and ‘War on Terrorism’. But don’t get all Michael Moore on us now, there is absolutely no conspiracy to allow Israel a free hand to inflame this situation to a boiling point which will finally snap when some Muslim somewhere commits a suicide act in protest which we will all be able to point at and say, “See, we have to fight on for Freedom and Democracy and Freedom”. I also have no idea why we only want to bring Democracy to countries who have oil or are near someone who has oil.

Allah Akbar

Condi Rice
Department of House Slave
United States of War

I apologise if the above is a wee bit flippant, but it is difficult to sit through this latest abomination in the Middle East, without getting really angry at the narrow minded paranoid aggressive, inane argument from those who support the Israeli position.

Remember in Vietnam the famous interview with a U.S. army colonel who, surveying a peasant village that had been set aflame by napalm bombs, said `we had to burn their village to save them from the communists.' That remark was made famous for its absurdity. It became a symbol of the ludicrous character of the U.S. war propaganda.

I received an e-mail from someone complaining about why we should care in NZ because we, “couldn’t do anything about it”. I find this mentality very American, we may be a small country – but we were the first country to give woman the vote, the first to say ’40 hours is a fair working week for the working man’, one of the first to declare ourselves nuclear free – if you mix Maori and Pacific Island communal values with the egalitarian drive of our colonial forefathers, you get a country with a deep seated sense of fairness – and right now the world needs a voice that can make that fairness heard. As New Zealanders we have been brave to stand up for issues of equality and past the red necked bluster of a talkback nation, we are a fair people who can’t stand injustice (as long as we are given the full information before the mainstream media get to twist it to sell newspapers, radio ratings or TV ratings by playing on our insecurities of course, but that’s a blog for another day) .

Self-defense is no excuse for what Israel is doing in Lebanon – there is no military solution to this problem. It comes back as it always does to the occupation and colonization of land which does not belong to Israel. But the Israelis starting point on that debate is ‘But God gave us this country’ – neat-o, not much wriggle room in that argument is there? Makes you wonder who the fanatics really are doesn’t it?


At 31/7/06 5:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the point? Yes, America is working its way further and further into the Middle East oil fields. We all know that. Its no big secret.

Would you prefer China took control of the ME oil? I hope you wouldn't.

Israel is a gateway, Lebanon a path, Syria a resting point, Iran an Oasis. There is no way anyone will stop them.

Let it be. America will control the Middle East oil reserves. Good. New Zealanders are more American than anything.

At 31/7/06 5:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why on earth must you make it "us or them" and propose two undesirable scenarios?

At 31/7/06 6:20 pm, Anonymous neil morrison said...

Doesn't make me wonder. It's Hezbollah hands down.

It "goes back" to the fact that Hezbollah, a fanatical religious group, wants the destruction of Israel.

You might not have noticed but Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000. A withdrawl considered complete by the UN. So there is no issue of occupied land here. You must be thinking about the West Bank.

But Hezbollah didn't keep to their side of the bargin. Call me an old fashioned liberal but Israel gets my support.

At 31/7/06 6:53 pm, Blogger bomber said...

...................................Neil, for the tenth time, Israel DID NOT pull out of all occupied land that was in dispute when it invaded Lebanon in 1982, there is still the Shebaa Farms which we have pointed out is still under occupation....

Shebaa Farms (also known as the Shaba, Sheba, Shabah, Shabaa, Shab'a, Chab'a, Sheb'a, Sheba'a, or Shib’a Farms) is an area of disputed ownership located at the junction of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, southwest of Shebaa (a Lebanese village on the northwestern slopes of Mount Hermon. It is also close to the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, about seven km away, and overlooks Israeli towns below such as Qiryat Shemona. The area is about 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) in length, and averages 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) in width, at altitudes of 150 to 1,880 meters (490–6,170 ft). GeoRef: 33|18|57.91|N,35|44|08.10|E(GoogleEarth). Its fertile, well-watered farmland formerly produced barley, fruits, and vegetables for 14 farms, but is now desolate.

The region was captured by Israel from Syria during the Six Day War, and was officially annexed in 1981.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967, reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 338 of 1973 calls for: 1) the "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict," and the area is still regarded by the United Nations and the world community as territory under Israeli occupation though there is a dispute as to whether the language requires withdrawal from "all" such territories; as well as 2) the recognition of Israel, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan of each other; 3) the termination of all claims or states of belligerency; and 4) the establishment of defensible boundaries for all parties.

Because Israel plays semantics as to what an occupation is, it doesn't mean the locals don't see it as an occupation. Last time we discussed this you gave the people of the region fighting to get Israel out of the Shebaa Farms, .01% legitimacy, which was a huge concession on your part, but I think you need to accept that the people there BELIEVE they have a legitimacy to fight what they see as occupation - there's an easier way to deal with that than dropping a missile on Children in Qana, it's called getting out of the Shebaa Farms area - what part of this am I missing?

At 31/7/06 6:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know the Jews where the terrorists when Great Britain had control of the Middle East after the World War 11. Yes some of the story where told by ex Royal Navy and merchant seamen who were give stun bombs to throw over the side of their ship when they where in port of the Middle East to stop the Jews terrorist from mining their ship. These Jews terrorist did win a country for them self from Great Britain after the Middle East was divided known as Israel.

At 31/7/06 7:18 pm, Blogger Brewerstroupe said...

To Neil Morrison and anyone else who, like I once did, swallows the one sided Western take on the situation. Please take a good look at btselem.org, the web site of the Israeli human rights organisation. Written and funded by Israelis it is damning of the current Israeli militarist policies. It sure turned this late middle-aged conservative's head around. The statistics alone tell the story. During the last intafada, the score was 3,500 Palestinians dead versus 250 Israelis. Almost all the deaths occurred on Palestinian soil. Note the map of the West Bank settlements and then tell me the Israelis just want peace.

At 31/7/06 7:19 pm, Anonymous neil morrison said...

bomber, you're missing a number of things -

1. The stated intent of Hezbollah is the desctruction of Israel, not the the regaining of the Sheeba farms.

2. The UN recognises the Israeli withdrawl from Lebanon as complete. Hezbollah has not kept its side of the bargin.

3. Whatever dispute over the Sheeba farms is, that is between the UN and the governments of Lebanon and Israel. Hezbollah as an illegal militia has no right to be running Lebanon's foreign policy.

I did not give ".01% legitimacy" to those fighting Israel. I give them 0% legitimacy. I was merely pointing out that even accepting the argument you are making, Israel has lived up to 99.99% of its international obligaitions and Hezbollah 0%. If Hezbollah disarmed by .01% then I would give them that same amount of legitimacy.

At 31/7/06 8:25 pm, Anonymous Tim G said...

brewerstroupe - I also went looking for the Palestinian peace organisation. You know, the one that favours peaceful establishment of the state of Palestine within Gaza & West Bank exclusively, and is actively against the use of suicide bombing or rockets, similar to Btselem being against violent occupation ...

but I couldn't find it????

Could you please post the link???

At 31/7/06 9:23 pm, Blogger Brewerstroupe said...

I just checked by copying and pasting btselem.org and it works for me. you have to click on English to access the site. There is a host of information on all aspects of the conflict. It is worth a good noodle around. Here are another couple of urls. A word of warning however. If you are a died in the wool follower of the US/Western line and don't want to have a Saul on the road to Damascus epiphany, don't go there.

At 1/8/06 1:25 am, Anonymous tim g said...

Hmmm interesting.

Bidstrup's article (cached from Google) was very disjointed and contained many factual omissions. Although it did suggest an end to the violence from Palestinians, it actually suggested a war on Israel (Last paragraph)! Not sure what kind of drugs this guy is on ... but they are pretty strong....!

The Mid East Web (and peacewatch, which links from there) are much better.

Btselem is also fairly good ... balanced that it states:
"B'Tselem strongly opposes the attempts to justify attacks against Israeli civilians by using distorted interpretations of international law. Furthermore, B'Tselem demands that the Palestinian Authority do everything within its power to prevent future attacks and to prosecute the individuals involved in past attacks.". But, is there a Palestinian equivalent to Btselem that states the same thing?

If by 'peace' you mean dialog and mutual cooperation towards a united society, then that's great! If you mean to tow the propaganda line of the Hezbollah side (over propaganda of another) ... well then I guess thats just perpetuating the conflict and you're no better than what you're campaigning against.

At 1/8/06 3:29 am, Blogger audrey said...

It's a bit rich to say that Hezbollah didn't stick to their side of the bargain. I imagine they also didn't want Israel occupying them for 18 years either. Perhaps they felt that the UN was a little lacklustre in taking on their case and therefore don't actually consider them a legitimate peacekeeping force? Perhaps for a moment, neil, you might consider what it's actually like to live in occupied territory and to know that the western support will always go to your oppressor. I'd say by that point destroying said oppressor may just be your number one priority.

And bomber, as an australian I can reassure you on New Zealand. Many of my friends and I declare if the next rubbish conservative thing happens here, we're packing up and moving to the kiwi islands.

At 1/8/06 10:51 am, Blogger Brewerstroupe said...

Bidstrup acknowleges that his article is not perfectly balanced. Here are the final few paragraphs. I can't see a suggestion of war in it.
I fully recognize that the solution I proposed above is not possible in the current political climate. I recognize that it would require the imposition by force, as decades of fascist influence and propaganda in Israel have hardened attitudes to the point that it is no longer willing to accept a just solution. I do not believe that the Palestinians would turn it down - it is a more fair and just offer than others they have already agreed to.
Who, then, is to impose the solution I propose? I think that the United Nations peacekeeping forces, with the United States fully backing them up, could do so. The key is having the United States on board - Israel knows that it would not last long without the full support of the U.S., and if we were to impose these conditions, they would have little choice but to accept the peacekeeping forces they have rejected to date.

I believe that as bitter as this pill would be for Israel to swallow, it is nevertheless a morally generous offer. At Israeli independence in 1948, the Zionists had legal, proper title to only 6% of what is today Israel. Morally, the rest of that land still belongs to the miserable refugees huddled in the dozens of refugee camps scattered throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region. This is really their land and their property. The settlement I propose offers far more to the Zionists than that to which they are genuinely morally entitled. It is reasonable, and, from a moral perspective, I believe a generous offer. I would hope that they would accept it.

Only then will the original Zionist dream become a reality - a homeland for the Jews, owned by them morally as well as by their presence, safe and secure within boundaries to which they and their neighbors mutually agree.

Am I sanguine about the prospects? No, I am not. But we can only try.

At 1/8/06 11:21 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to obtain peace, sometimes you need to go to war...the bigger the war, the bigger (longer) the peace.
Full scale war involving Israel, USA, EU, Syria, Iran, Palestine, Hezbollah would do wonders for final peace in the Mddle-East.

At 1/8/06 12:44 pm, Blogger Brewerstroupe said...

Here is the url for the Palestinian Human Rights organization

At 1/8/06 1:00 pm, Anonymous deano said...

No one in Israel wants to kill innocent Lebanese. This actually is in contrast with Hezbollah, who want all Jews dead. Israel try to target Hezbollah exclusively but war is messy and tragic errors are made, like Qana. And those errors will continue to be made while Hezbollah continue to use civilians as human shields, store their weapons in schoolsand mosques, and transport their weapons in ambulances. Hezbollah, on the other hand, fire their rockets directly at cities. The only reason the Israelis are on the fortunate side of the ledger in terms of deaths is their superior weapons and training.

When you talk about 'the occupation and colonization of land which does not belong to Israel' are you talking about the Shebaa farms, or are you talking about the entire state of Israel? Because you know, the people you support in this conflict, don't think this state should exist at all.

At 1/8/06 1:27 pm, Blogger Brewerstroupe said...

No one in Israel wants to kill innocent Lebanese?? What is so special about the Lebanese? The following is from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. The facts contained therein are endorsed by the equivalent Israeli organization. Remember that this is just the six days leading up to the fanatical nasty Hezbollah grabbing a couple of Israeli Soldiers who I assume are still alive unless bombed by the Israelis along with the 600 or so Lebanese citizens.

Israeli violations of international law continued in the OPT during the reported period (20-26 July 2006):

Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 38 Palestinians, including 21 civilians, in the Gaza Strip. The victims included a mentally disabled person, 8 children and 3 women. In addition, a child, a dumb person and a resistance activist died from previous wounds. Nine of the victims are from 3 families and were killed in 3 separate attacks: a woman, her two children and their uncle were killed in al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City on 21 July 2006, when IOF shelled their house; an old woman and her grandchild were killed in Beit Lahia on 24 July 2006, when an IOF aircraft fired a missile at their animal cart; and a woman and her two children were killed in Jabalya on 26 July 2006, when IOF shelled their house. Four Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed, when IOF shelled al-Nada tower buildings, west of Beit Hanoun. A child was also killed, when IOF shelled al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis. Another child was killed in al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. IOF have moved into al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City, killing 17 Palestinians.

In addition, 146 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 33 children, two women, two paramedics and two journalists, were wounded by IOF gunfire. Thus, the number of Palestinians killed by IOF since the beginning of “Operation Summer Rains” on 25 June 2006 has increased to 149, including 77 civilians. These civilians have included 32 children and 8 women. In addition, 626 others, mostly civilians, including 163 children, 21 women, 4 paramedics and 4 journalists, have been wounded.

IOF also launched at least 30 air strikes on a number of targets in the Gaza Strip, including 5 houses belonging to Palestinian resistance activists. These houses were destroyed, and a number of neighboring houses and civilian facilities were severely damaged. IOF intelligence officers ordered owners of these houses by phone to evacuate their houses. The targeted houses were not located in confrontation areas, or in areas used to fire rockets. They were distributed in different parts of the Gaza Strip. In addition, they were multi-story apartment structures. The destruction caused fear among the civilian population. These bombardments are a flagrant violation of article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prescribes that “it is prohibited for the occupying power to destroy private property of individuals, groups, state, public authority, or social and cooperative organizations except if military operations deem it an unavoidable necessity.” The legal interpretation of this article sets the following criteria for targeting a civilian installation

At 2/8/06 2:54 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

neil morrison, what is this deal you keep referring to? I understand the simple formula: Hizballah breaks a deal and invites retribution, but where is the deal? be specific. Israel withdrew unilaterally from Lebanon, largely because continued occupation was deeply unpopular with the Isaeli public. They left Hizballah intact and their proxy militia disintegrated.

Hizballah's raison d'etre was the liberation of Southern Lebanon, which they largely achieved in 2000. Since then they have invoked the Shebaa farms and other lingering grievances as a reason to remain armed. It might be useful at this point to note that the Lebanese government shares the view that the Shebaa farms are Lebanese, as does Syria. Whereas the UN and Israel say that they were captured from Syria. Kofi Annan noted that the borders were vague, but that the blue line would do for the purposes of confirming Israel's withdrawal. The farms are still occupied, but apparently are not disputed between the two countries that ought to have beefs. The wider problem is of course the Golan, its stategic position, the enormous cost of compensating settlers and the sweet water that sources the Jordan river.

Your characterisation of Hizballah as a militia dedicated to the destruction of Israel over simplifies matters greatly. Yes their founding document espouses alarming sentiments that cannot be ignored, but their support for the Palestinian cause has typically been more rhetorical than real. Hizballah is essentially nationalist in orientation, and far more than a militia, it is a social, political and military force. And within Lebanon's rigid confessional political structure it is seen as the only protector of its solid Shia constituency. Bomber may make some exaggerated claims but he is right on one point. Hizballah cannot be defeated by military force alone. For a start Hizballah is an indigenous movement that cannot vanquished in the manner of the PLO. Even if Israel can degrade its military capabilities it has other means, such as suicide bombing, for which there is no 'terrorist infrastructure'. If it is excluded from a political settlement, it essentially gains veto power over any process it disagrees with. The longer civilian infrastructure is targeted the weaker genuine domestic demand for its disarmament will become. The longer Israel targets the Lebanese army whilst insisting that it disarm Hizballah, the less able it is politically and militarily to do so.

At 2/8/06 9:13 am, Anonymous bomber said...

.......................................Thank you for that posting Anon - you have laid the points out very well - ALL this war will do is sow more pain and suffering which later generations will reap

At 19/2/08 12:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

read my comment on a soldier that was there in the 40s its the last one on the top 10 definitions of war


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